A Passion For Hard Work Produces Results
Eddie Woods, a native of Meath,
Ireland, has built an impressive 240-acre facility in Ocala, through hard work
and a tremendous desire to produce quality horses.
Eddie Woods Stables
Thoroughbred Training Center in Ocala, Florida
Woods comes from a family
of horsemen, his father being a former steeplechase jockey and later a
trainer. "I was born in horses. It was my family's way of life," said Eddie.
He would follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a steeplechase jockey,
and would face more than his fair share of obstacles in a highly competitive
"As a steeplechase jockey you find yourself falling a lot, and I had
reached an age, where you're not as resilient, and you don't recover from
falls as easily. I decided to relocate to Ocala because I was in need of a
job," said Eddie.
Woods has now been based in Central Florida for more than 15 years, and has increased his knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry working for fellow horsemen
Tony and Joanne Everard. An ability to recognize and evaluate talent has enabled Woods to climb to the
upper echelon of the consigning ranks. His knowledge, management and
communication skills all have played a role in his success, and he deploys a
pragmatic and disciplined approach while working toward a set of well-defined
Eddie Woods Stables is a
Perennial Leading 2YO Consignor
"We'll buy horses, and from there we'll have an opportunity to gauge
their ability, while they're going through our training program. We always
try to buy stylish, quality horses," said Eddie.
Over the past ten years,
Woods has made a number of impressive strides based on the sound, basic
principles and applying common sense toward his business decisions. Woods
doesn't point juveniles towards specific two-year-old sales. "We'll see how the horses
are progressing, and from there will decide what sales to point towards.
There's a lot of expense involved with going to the sales," said Eddie.
Woods unrelenting passion to be the best produced remarkable results as his
program regularly ranks among the leading consignors by gross sales and by stakes-winning graduates. At least five times in the past 15 years, Woods consignments
were responsible for producing the most graded stakes winners, purchased at
"We're very fortunate. That's probably our crowning
moment," said Eddie.
Woods has trained and sold some of Thoroughbred racing’s
biggest superstars in recent years. Perhaps the most notable is BIG BROWN, the
brilliant 3-year-old who captivated the racing world with dominant wins
in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1). Campaigned by Paul Pompa and
IEAH Stables, Big Brown would earn more than $3.6 million and be named Champion 3-Year-Old in 2008.
In 2009, Woods consigned a special offering at the Keeneland
April 2-Year-Olds Sale, the first foal out of the legendary racemare Azeri. Sold for a sale-topping $1.9
million, the colt by A.P. Indy - named Take Control - was
purchased by trainer Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah.
In 2002, Eddie Woods Stables was the leading consignor of Grade 1 Winners in North America. "I
attribute a lot of my success to having great clients. We were not involved
with buying a number of the horses we've sold. We've sold a number of horses
that have been either bought or bred by our clients. We've been very
fortunate that we were selected by them to sell their horses at public
auction," said Eddie.
His approach and philosophy for training and preparing horses for the sales
ring and the track have helped Woods establish a reputation for having the
horses' best interest in mind.
"He does an outstanding job
with a horse's early preparation.
He brings a horse along at the proper
- Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott
"You can't make a horse run any faster than
it's capable of running. The horse either has the ability, or it doesn't.
The challenge is to keep the horses sound while they are training. You're
always trying to get a horse ready to perform to its maximum potential. The
horse should still be able to perform at that level when it reaches the
track," said Eddie.
A number of horses that pass through the sales ring at
public auction, don't possess the blazing speed associated with sprint races,
and the higher prices paid at public auction. "Many quality horses are fast,
but we've had a number of talented horses that haven't worked fast at the
sales, but were meant for two turns."
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who
conditioned the legendary Cigar, had high words of praise for Woods.
"Eddie's started a number of horses for us, and he does an outstanding job
with a horse's early preparation. He brings a horse along at the proper
pace. He's done an outstanding job with the horses we've sent him over
the years," said Mott.
The demands of the business can be difficult, and balancing one's personal
and professional life can be a challenge."In this trade, you don't have much
of a real life. There's no hardship in coming to work everyday. You have to
be focused and balanced. Your goal is to be the best," said Eddie.
Woods moved into his new facility December 31, 2000, and the 240-acre
operation has 36 paddocks, four barns, 140 plus stalls, a mile track,
7/8-mile turf course and multiple round pens
"We moved everything to the
new facility in one day. It's great to be able to come to your own place.
You have an added interest when you're at your own facility," he said.
Woods had been
based at Country and Bea Roberts Post Time Training Center, and previously at
Classic Mile Training Center. "I never envisioned owning my own training
facility. This is a dream come true," said Eddie. The training facility
continues to take shape.
A proficient, professional staff has helped Woods in developing his horses.
"I'm very fortunate. I've had the same core group of employees with me from
the start. They know the ropes. They're a great crew," said Eddie.
Woods has also established a solid client base, and has a strong rapport with
the owners he represents while conditioning their horses and representing
them at the sales.
"Elmendorf Farm and Bobby Spalding were very helpful,
when we first went out on our own, and when we were getting started. Joe
Greeley and Bob Kelly gave me an opportunity to buy some quality horses,"
Joe Greeley who owns Sabine Stable with his wife Winifred, also
owned and raced Rob N' Gin and Comeonmom, before selling the horse to the
Maktoum family and Godolphin. Both are graduates of the Eddie Woods
Hundreds of stakes winners have now gone through the Eddie Woods training
program or have been consigned by the Ocala-based sales agent, including four Champions and 21 Grade 1 winners. These include two Breeders' Cup winners of 2014 (Bayern and Lady Eli), the 2014 Travers winner (V. E. Day), previous Breeders' Cup winners Midnight Lute, Stephanie's Kitten, Life Is Sweet and Maram,plus U.S. Classic winners Union Rags and Big Brown.
In both 2013 and 2014, Eddie Woods sold more Graded stakes winners at public auction than any other two-year-old consignor. Eddie's 12 Graded stakes winners of 2014 is believed to be a record for a juvenile consignor in a single year. In 2015, Eddie Woods is once again at the top among all consignors of Graded stakes winners.
Click Here to contact us for more information about the Eddie Woods Training Center, or call 352.489.8915.